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Answering the NJ Med. vs RWJ Question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NJDUDE, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. NJDUDE

    NJDUDE Member
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    Many threads have been asking pros and cons of NJ Med. and RWJ Medical School. While there have been scattered answers here and there, I didn't see any targetted answers that address the issue fully. Since I have the same question and I am myself trying to choose which reception I should go to in January (apparently they're both on the same day), I thought I would compile all the info I have on these two schools and share it with you guys.

    With regard to U.S. News ranking, RWJ is around number 60 (according to a post I saw earlier) in both primary care and research. I didn't see NJ Med. anywhere in the top 60 in either category. So if you like prestige and name, I suppose RWJ is higher up in that category.

    With regard to residency matches, we were given residency match lists for the past 2-3 years when I interviewed at RWJ, but nothing was given at NJ Medical School. RWJ students matched in great programs, including Columbia, Duke, and Hopkins. Also, some students at RWJ matched into dermatology, radiology, and ophthalmology programs. Not bad.

    With regard to trauma centers, both schools have hospitals that are designated as level 1 trauma centers (the highest designation a hospital can receive). Not much difference here.

    With regard to residency programs and research, RWJ has just launched a brand new Stem Cell Research Center. It is also home to the cancer institute of New Jersey (lots of NIH money here). Additionally, the admissions committee told us that the Waksman Institute is a 5 minute walk, which is home to the Nobel Prize for the discovery of Streptomycin. NJMS, on the other hand, has recently lost accreditation for its cardiothoracic program. But Dr. Heinrich did recently send an email about two students getting published. So I guess that's good.

    With regard to location, Newark is home to the bloods. As far as I heard from students I know at Newark, there are some days of high gang activity during which Newark students are advised to go home early since the gangs have their "initiation day." I heard some horrific details which I'll spare you. This was as recent as last month. Other than that, Newark has a nice Arts area, a big airport, and lots of traffic. New Brunswick is also a major city in New Jersey (although not as big as Newark). No bloods or crypts stories there. There is a lot of fine dining, arts areas, and night life (Rutgers-New Brunswick, is a very festive school). RWJ is in Piscatway, which is 10 minutes from New Brunswick.

    With regard to on-campus dorms, RWJ does not have any. NJ Med. is building a dorm building which, as we were told by the tour guide, should be open for the class entering in 2006. RWJ gave us a list of nearby apartment complexes. Students seemed to prefer living in houses or apartment complexes over the typical college dorm style, but after all, this was all that was available to them...

    With regard to available facilities, we were told during the interview at RWJ that we have free access to the gym at Rutgers-New Brunswick, which has, according to the students, a state-of-the-art weight room and an indoor swimming pool. Nothing like that was mentioned at Newark.

    With regard to the campus, the RWJ campus is in a suburban setting in Piscataway. The surroundings are all nice and green, and when I interviewed there I saw ducks walking next to the students and some students were studying while laying down on the lawn outside. Newark is 110% urban, but there are a couple of greens here and there around the campus.

    With regard to the cafeteria and on-campus food, NJ med. had a burger king in their cafeteria. RWJ only had a deli with "healthy" sandwiches and whatnot. However, someone who was interviewing that day asked if there was any fast food places around, and she was told that the Rutgers University student center, a 10 minute walk, had one.

    With regard to combined degree programs, RWJ has a wealth of those, including an MD/JD program, MD/MBA, and an MD/MPH program. NJ Med. didn't talk to us about any such programs, but of course both schools have the MD/PhD program.

    I think that's all I have in mind, as of yet... Does anybody have anything else? It would be good to put all these qualities together in one thread to help us make the choice between those two schools.
     
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  3. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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  4. thorg12

    thorg12 Junior Member
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    In regards to the njms vs rwjms does anyone know about the hands on experience. I hear rumors that njms is really hands on but i havent heard exact details about what is so "hands on." If anyone can shed some light, id appreciate it.
     
  5. NJDUDE

    NJDUDE Member
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    yea that's a good thing to add to that list.. I heard people when I interviewed at NJ Med. say that too, but I never understood it... I mean.. any medical school would teach its students patient history taking and whatnot. Anyone know what's more "hands on" at NJ med. than at RWJ?
     
  6. drguy22

    drguy22 1K Member
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    ill let the residency match speak for itself.....i would respond but...i have an exam thurs...

    https://admin-njms.umdnj.edu/StudentAffairs/MatchResults.aspx?tabid=19

    change it to class of 2005...
    synopsis
    - 6 optho
    - 9 ortho
    -2 plastics
    - 10 radio
    - 1 derm
    -12 anesth.


    btw..it seems as if u have already made up ur mind as to which luncheon ur gonna go to...

    obviously RWJ is a MUCH better choice...

    good luck.
     
  7. MochaMD

    MochaMD Senior Member
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    For me, I ended up choosing NJMS over RWJMS because I just wanted a change. I couldn’t see myself staying in central Jersey for another 4 years when I have spent all my life here. I also did research in a lab at RWJMS for a year while at Rutgers and every time I stepped into that building, I never saw myself as a student there. Along with that, other bad things that I hear about the school is that the students there are more cut-throat and competitive. Obviously, it has its strengths too. As NJDUDE already mentioned, RWJMS is on the same campus as Rutgers so there is a lot of opportunity for research in correlation with Rutgers also.

    As far as NJMS, one of the biggest factors that drive people away from NJMS is the fact that it is located in Newark. But, I’m trying to look at the positive side to that. I see the location as providing me with situations that will prepare me to handle all types of situations anywhere.

    Anyways, in the end, I think that both schools are educationally equivalent each having their own advantages and disadvantages. All that matters is which place makes you the happiest and see yourself spending a good long 4 years there.

    Btw, where is it confirmed that the reception is January 6th? I haven't received anything regarding the reception.
     
  8. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant
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    The students are not cut-throat. I'm a second year student at RWJMS, and the students are pretty good at helping each other out. Sure, there are a few gunners, but you are going to find that in any med school.

    I do agree that you will get a great education at either school. I was accepted to both, and I choose RWJ because I just had a better feeling about it at my interview. Go with your gut.
     
  9. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    RWJ and NJMS pulled this same crap last year with the luncheon on the same day. However, the times were staggered enough so that you could make both of the luncheons if you really wanted. I didn't care much for RWJ so I didn't go to that luncheon, but there were a lot of people at the NJMS luncheon who made it to both. In the end, I didn't go to either of the schools. To me, they are essentially the same school. It looks to me like you already made up your mind about where you're going.
     
  10. NJDUDE

    NJDUDE Member
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    To Dr. Guy and blz, although it may seem that my post suggests that I already made up my mind about where I want to go, there is really no reason for me to post if this was the case. I am trying to choose between the two schools (I think saving 60K in the course of four years for tuition alone, excluding interest, is a good deal). However, as you have noticed, many of the things I know were obtained from the interview day I had at the schools. While RWJ gave us a well-rounded interview day (presentation by the dean, presentation by an admissions officer, presentation by a financial aid officer, lunch with students, and a student-guided tour), NJMS only gave us the tour, which didn't even last all that long. They didn't even provide a lunch during which students can have a friendly conversation with the students about campus life. Therefore, most of the info I had about Newark was from students who I talked to about it and who weren't very thrilled about the whole deal. Therefore, I posted this thread so that others who have had better experiences (or who are current students and like it there) would share their thoughts with us. And if anything of what I posted seems wrong to you, please do correct me. But please don't get into a defensive stance and tell me that I already made up my mind, because this only adds to my perceived negatives of NJMS.
     
  11. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!
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    BTW

    How much is tuition at each of these schools? thanks
     
  12. NJDUDE

    NJDUDE Member
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    Around 23K/year for the 2005-2006 academic year.
     
  13. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    looks like the dogfight has begun

    Here are the differences between the 2 Schools:

    RWJMS: has a high rep cuz of the RWJ Foundation but has nothing to do with it, has a large research infrastructure (Rutgers Univ, CABM, Waksman Institute, Princeton Univ), is in New Brunswick (a really nice city), no shelf exams, 10 weeks of electives during the third year (sweet!!!), some people have to go to Camden which is america's most dangerous city, clinical rotations are done at RWJUH ( Level 1 Trauma Center), Cooper Hospital (another Level 1 Trauma center in camden), Princeton General, Jersey Shore Medical Center, Muhlenberg Med Center, Cancer Center; have block exams (which is good in way to have exams at the same time), no housing provided. Since all of the teaching hospitals are private, there is no scutwork. 4th year required clerkships are advanced ambulatory medicine, advanced surgery clerkship (which sux for people not interested in surgery) and neurology

    NJMS: has a very large clinical infrastructure (Doctors Office Center, OSCE training site plus a rich patient diversity), is in Newark (a big gangsta city), students here have shelf exams which sux, only 3 weeks of elective time during the third year, clinical rotations are done at Univ Hospital (NJs biggest Level 1 trauma center), some VA hospitals, Morristown Memorial, Hackensack Med Center, Overlook Hospital, Jersey City Med Center (for OB/GYN), St. Michaels; no block exams, housing will be provided starting with the Class of 2010 and since some of the hospitals are public there will be some scutwork. 4th year required clerkships are Emergency Medicine, PM & R and Neurology

    I have been living in Newark for the past 3 months and its a quiet city as long as u stay indoors...and even if u do venture outside at night try to be at public places and there really are no bloodbaths unless gang streets
     
  14. beponychick

    beponychick SDN Angel
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    I agree. If NJMS structured their interview day more, it would draw ALOT more students to the school. I have personal reasons for really wanting to go there, but I can see how someone would chose RWJ simply because they got a lot more positive vibes from the well structured day. In either case, congrats on having to chose between two really great schools. I have to say, after living in Newark for close to two years, it really isnt that bad. In fact, I kinda like the city feel to it (I live in the downtown area) and I know within a few years, the city will be booming. Seriously. :)
     
  15. G-Man82

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Hey

    So there is a lot of info about RWJ in this forum, so I was wondering if anyone in particular who goes to NJMS could post their impressions on their school life? Classes, environment, First-Year experiences, etc. Dr.Guy, I know you're busy with exams for this up-coming Thursday, but after those exams, since you come across as the Man for NJMS, who seems to know the school inside and out, and I believe are a first year (?), think you could post something for those of us considering between the two schools? Of course, wait til after your exams. Thanks!
     
  16. BOBODR

    BOBODR Senior Member
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    Newark is an urban wasteland. I am from NJ and interview at UMDNJ last year (a few months after they invited me since they sent it to an email account that doesnt exist and apparently never figured it out but thats a different story). When I land in Newark Airport and then drive home I find myself thinking, so this is what the earth would look like if a nuclear holocaust occured. 50 story high apartment buildings by the 100's falling down, with no windows, and people just drinking 40's outside. Land that is unusable becauase its so toxic and polluted they cant even attempt to clean it and build on it. Last time I checked water was blue/brown, in Newark the river is black. If abandoned warehouses by the 1000's with gangs hanging outside them is your thing then take a vacation to Newark. Yeah they have the ironbound (or clad?) district but its not exactly Times square. Newark is downright scary, including the area around the hospital. I would never walk home from there in a million years even if I lived down the block and had an Ak-47. Just my opinion of Newark....
     
  17. beponychick

    beponychick SDN Angel
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    Oh wow, such anger. I totally disagree. I live there!!! Obviously some areas are worse than others, but if you havent been there recently, there is ALOT of construction going on, especially around the downtown area and trust me within 5 years it will be totally different than it is now. Yes, there are a lot of abandoned buildings (I actually live right across from one), but they are slowly being re-built. UMDNJ is having brand new housing for its students. The building should be ready this comming summer and it is RIGHT next to the school, unlikine RWJ, which has no on-campus housing if Im not mistaken. I am not trying to say that you dont need to be careful, because you do. And I would not walk around the area at night alone. But it really is not as bad as people believe. If you live downtown, and perhaps take the shuttle to the school (which I plan to do if accepted), then you really should not have a problem.
     
  18. BOBODR

    BOBODR Senior Member
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    There is no anger there... I think Newark is disgusting, I was just there.. to say its an upcoming and great place is a joke.

    I think the school itself is fine. Transplant it somewhere else and I would say its a great school. That doesnt change NEwark for what is. :thumbdown:
    Maybe I am being a little harsh but Newark has serious problems.
     
  19. beponychick

    beponychick SDN Angel
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    Yes it has problems, and it will continue to have problems, but it is getting better, fast. I dont know, I guess its not for everyone, but i dont mind living there at all.
     
  20. SNR02

    SNR02 Member
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    I interviewed and was accepted at both schools, and honestly, the OP's response is very reflective of what information I learned on the interview day. This means that NJMS does not put as much effort into the interview day as does RWJ. I had to wait almost 2 hours because my interviewer was busy. He never even looked at my file beforehand and just told me to talk about myself for an hour.
    At RWJ I did not have to wait and my interviewer thoroughly reviewed my file and asked specific questions which made me feel like he actually cared about my application.

    LUNCH: no students ate with me at NJMS, 7 med students were available at lunch to chat with at RWJ. Also, more presentations about programs and better organization at RWJ, which gave me the impression that the school was actually interested in me.

    Honestly, I really do think both schools are equally good academically and you can do equally well in life no matter which one you choose. But one just gave out more information than the other.

    So don't pick on the OP!

    Also about the gym thing, for NJMS you have to pay around $350 a yr to use the Rutgers - Newark gym.
     
  21. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant
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    I definitely think you are being way too harsh. I've grown up in Jersey and I've heard the reputation of how bad Newark is, but when I interviewed there two years ago I didn't think it was nearly as bad as its reputation.


    Someone mentioned Camden so I'd just like to throw in my two cents...I'm in the Camden program at RWJMS, and Camden is ranked the most dangerous city in the US. I was terrified of what the conditions would be like, but the Camden campus is actually quite nice. You can take major highways to get to the hospital, so you don't have to go into the unsafe parts. The security is excellent. The UMDNJ police showed us the safety records for the last couple of years, and there has been higher incidences of crime on the Newark and NB campuses then on the Camden campus. Not to mention the students have the choice of living in South Jersey or Philly. Don't let the idea of Camden deter you from RWJ.

    One thing NJMS has that I wish RWJ had is P/F grading. We are still on the 5 scale grading, and it can stress you out to know you need a certain grade to honor/high pass.
     
  22. beponychick

    beponychick SDN Angel
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    Are you sure NJMS is P/F? I was under the impression they had pass, high pass, honors, etc. grading.
     
  23. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant
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    I think they switched to P/F a couple of years ago. I remember when I interviewed (fall of 2003) they mentioned that they had a brand new curriculum where the first two years are P/F. I could be wrong, but that is what I thought they said. :confused:

    I wish RWJ would go to P/F, although now that I'm almost done with my pre-clinical years, I guess it really doesn't matter. :D
     
  24. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!
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    It's not P/F it is Honors, HP, pass and F.
     
  25. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant
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    Good to know. Now I can't complain about RWJ's grading anymore.


    RWJ is better at ping-pong than NJMS. We had a tournament a couple of weeks ago and kicked thier butts. :laugh:
     
  26. 4 Ever

    4 Ever Senior Member
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    I hear the pool players are much better at NJMS compared to RWJMS though.
     
  27. drguy22

    drguy22 1K Member
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    NJMS is a GR8 school....most of the students are cooperative, however, as with any medical school there will be the gunners. Some of the highlights of the school are:
    - New curriculum -its really good so far
    - New cancer center- looks really nice and lots of opps
    - new abmulatory care center
    - new housing - the building looks HOT
    - student affairs is great

    now, i know someone mentioned something about shelf exams. Shelf exams cant be all that bad. Shelf exams are old board exams. This means that you get practice for the board exams starting from year one. NJMS prides itself on excellent clinical education. In fact, its clinical training center is one the best in the nation, medical schools ( cornell, downstate, ect) actually come down to NJMS to practice their skills. Also, as first years, you get a lot of clinical experience with clinic, new physicians core class, and your preceptorship. We are now expected to perform the FULL history and physical exam at this point, which is why we have a 100% pass rate on the step 2 CK exam last year. A lot of schools wait for 3rd year to start the full exam.

    our curriculum:
    year 1 Fall
    - MGM (molecular and genetic medicine) = biochem, mol bio, and genetics all in one with clinical correlations
    - HAD (human anatomy and development) = embryo and antomy with HUGE clinical correlations 15% of our grade is taking group exams :)
    - Physicians CORE - this is where u learn the phyical exam, history, ethics, cultural competency, ect ect

    Grading
    -Honors, High pass, pass, fail


    My impression of RWJ:

    i actually visited RWJ last week, when i was visiting Rutgers. I walked into the school, and it was empty. no one was there, and it was very dim. I must admit, their PBL rooms were top notch. I hear that it is very competative there, not a lot of coopertivity. Although, this years NJMS class comes very close to that level. Our professors have told us we have one the highest anatomy avg compared to past classes ( thorax and upper limp - 84, head and neck - 88!!!). Im not sure how the curriculum goes as RWJ, maybe someone from there can explain



    lemme know if u wanna know anything more specific
     

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